Our recent post on Very Weird Amusement Parks was wildly popular. We got emails, phone calls, and love letters from adoring fans the world over. Rather than settle for the love we got, though, we needed more, More, MORE!
Consequently, today we bring you More Very Weird Amusement Parks, 5 more offbeat and unusual theme parks for your summer vacation.
Enjoy — and book early!
The Ocean Dome
Leave it to the Japanese to create the world’s largest indoor water park. Massive enough to surf in, Miyazaki’s Ocean Dome — part of the sprawling Phoenix Seagaia Resort — makes a bigger splash than anything else on the planet.
According to Ron Gluckman, the Ocean Dome features a “heated ocean with a width of 140 meters [that] sends 13,500 tons of salt-free water sweeping across 600 tons of polished marble chips that constitute a 85-metre long shoreline, ringed by a three-story promenade of shops.” The Dome also boasts its own rain forest; a volcano that erupts every hour; and a massive beach. Don’t think the Ocean Dome is weird? What about the fact that this indoor beach is located less than 1000 feet from a real beach!
Strangely, brochures for the Ocean Dome tout the fact that it “is a place where we can feel that we are part of nature.” I guess that’s because it features a retractable roof. On clear days, they even let the sun shine in! Ah…nature.
Grutas Park (a.k.a., Stalin World)
Lithuania’s Grutas Park is large on history, but small on “amusement.” This 20-acre park, located 75 miles south of Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, recreates life under Stalin.
Grutas features a zoo, a small playground — and 82 Communist-era sculptures positioned along a 1.2-mile-long exposition, where guard towers, fragments of concentration camps, and remnants of Siberia have been lovingly positioned. Also featuring an electrified fence and wooden guard posts, visitors enter a gulag similar to the one to which 360,000 Lithuanians were sent. Hopefully, you have to be “this tall” to take this particular ride.
Operated by Viliumas Malinauskas — former heavyweight wrestler and current canned-mushroom tycoon — Grutas’ statues have been donated by the country’s cities, anxious to distance themselves from unhappier times.
Decidedly low-tech, Alaska’s Mukluk Land features the large Alaskan cabbage, the world’s largest mukluk, the world’s largest mosquito, and an assortment of odd displays, including a large yurt and a collection of large, rusting snowmobiles. It also has Skee Ball.
Named after the traditional soft boots worn by native Alaskans, Mukluk Land — 350 miles northeast of Anchorage along the Alaska Highway– is like walking through a larger-than-life history book of this larger-than-life state.
If you want to live large at Mukluk Land, though, you have to plan you trip carefully: this frontier-style amusement park has a very small window of operating hours. It’s only open June through August.
If you thought Mukluk Land was a bit limp, I’m guessing you’re going to get excited about South Korea’s “Love Land.” Located on Cheju Island (known locally as “Honeymoon Island”), the Park features all manner of porn-y memorabilia and art, from giant golden statues dripping with carnal abandon, to something called, um, “most big penis.”
Particularly beautiful at night when aglow, this couples-friendly amusement park was erected (tee hee) to help show newly-married lovers the proverbial ropes. After looking at some of the displays, though, I wonder if these ropes didn’t scare them more than they encouraged them!
South Koreans aren’t the only people who think sex = amusement. It turns out the Brits are into sex-themed amusement parks, too. The recently-opened Amora sexual theme park aims to offer an “upscale, grown-up way of looking at, and discovering, sex.”
Amora London has no electronic rides. However, the organizers are hoping that the, um, mental ride through the tactile displays of life-sized silicone models will be enough to stimulate interest in erogenous zones. Boasting exhibits with provocative names like Sensorium, Sexplorium, Amora Sutra, Love & Desire, Amorgasm, Taste Amora, Fantasy & Fetish, and Aphrodisiac Lounge, this amora-sment park also offers hands-on workshops designed to inspire, educate, and entertain (read: stripper classes).
With exhibits like the Spankometer, an orgasm tunnel, and a wall sporting dozens of molded genitals, Amora is one wild ride that’ll leave you panting for more. Want more? Check out The Sun’s video tour of Amora.